The first thing to say about the IBC is its size. The broadcast trade show and conference keeps growing and is now one of the largest global gatherings of the world’s electronic entertainment industry, and the numbers alone are impressive – over 50,000 attendees from 160 countries and more than 1,400 exhibitors converge on Amsterdam, while 300 leading figures speak in over 60 conference sessions.
One of the most significant industry trends over the past few years has been the move towards file-based workflows. Many other innovations, such as the move to digital widescreen to HD to Ultra HD were simply incremental. But the workflow revolution has involved adopting a whole new paradigm and way of working and the challenging fusion of two different industries: IT and broadcast.
It is perhaps why, even several years in, there are still as many complexities to digital workflows as there are opportunities, both for creativity and for cost efficiencies. And with the ideas behind cloud-based production rapidly gaining traction, the subject encourages as much debate and confusion now as it probably ever has done, so it will again be a key discussion point at the IBC.
The changes to cameras are tangible proof of the revolutions in workflow, formats and processes taking place behind them in post-production. Today’s lightweight, small form-factor, solid state HD workhorses bear little resemblance to the cumbersome, tape-based SD models of not so long ago. And that’s just the mainstream units. Add in developments in DSLRs, slo-mo and ultra slo-mo, Ultra HD, PoV units and you have a sector that’s almost unrecognisable from previous generations.
From hardware to hard issues, the conference part of the IBC will be centred on Content Creation and Innovation, Advances in Technology, The Business of Broadcasting and Media, and Industry Insight sessions. This year’s agenda will be driven by themes such as the impact of convergence on the industry and adapting to the connected world, the strategic shift and disruption as more telcos enter the broadcast market and how digital spaces are changing everything from multiplatform commissioning to advertising across different devices.
At the CBA, we’re looking forward to participating in the IBC again – keeping up to date with industry innovations and issues, as well as meeting and supporting staff from our member stations. This year we are proud to have supported two engineers, Solomone Finau chief engineer at Tonga Broadcasting Commission and Bright Nkaka principal engineer in planning and development at the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation with bursaries to visit the IBC.
We look forward to meeting other broadcasting staff there, come by and say hello!
The IBC runs from 12 to 17 September 2013 in Amsterdam.